The lighthouse from the 'saddest ever' episode of Grand Designs, which has taken more than 10 years to build, is now on sale for £10 million.
Completion of Edward Short's luxury lighthouse – known as Chesil Cliff House – located in Croyde, North Devon, was initially expected by the end of 2021 but has faced prolonged delays, in many ways mirroring the well-documented early struggles of the build in a 2019 episode of Channel 4's ever-popular self-build series hosted by Kevin McCloud.
But now, the landmark lighthouse-inspired property has officially hit the market via Knight Frank, described as "one of the UK's most spectacular coastal homes" and is ready for the right owner to put their own stamp on it.
"I'll always be proud to have finished this," Edward said last year of his decade-long passion project. "I owe it to my family to have a real end result, but the time has come to move on. I will have achieved what I set out to do, never deviating from the plans, and for that I'll always be proud."
The Grand Designs lighthouse: inside the finished build
Positioned on a three-acre site between surfers' paradise Saunton Sands, Chesil Cliff House is backed by the impressive UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Braunton Burrows, and the idyllic cove of Croyde, beyond which sits National Trust-owned Baggy Point.
Complete to a "white box finish", Chesil Cliff House is, quite literally, a complete blank canvas with no fitted bathrooms or kitchen, giving the incoming buyer the opportunity to put their own mark on the property.
The sale includes Chesil Cliff House (five bedrooms and bathrooms, four reception rooms, and a breathtaking infinity pool), its three-bedroom studio annexe known as The Eye, and unrestricted helicopter landing.
A cantilevered bridge provides the driveway down to Chesil Cliff where the principal living space has been designed to take advantage of the unique outlook stretching far out to sea.
The entrance on the first floor is where you'll find the reception hall and sitting room, which gives access to three bedrooms. The principal bedroom boasts an outstanding view over the infinity pool. There's also a dressing area and spacious en-suite bathroom with space for a large bath, double shower and double basin.
The ground floor offers expansive living areas, including a large kitchen area ready to be fitted out, and a cinema. Steps lead down to the dining room in the circular section of the house, with double height ceiling, floor to ceiling windows, and floor to ceiling glazed doors that lead out to the terrace.
You can take advantage of the views from the living room thanks to the floor to ceiling windows and sliding doors leading to the infinity pool. In fact, numerous curves throughout the property provide various areas to stop and enjoy the view, and in this house, the views get better and better as the height increases.
The second floor can be accessed directly from the garage, and a spiral staircase leads to the third floor which contains the unique storm room offering panoramic sea views from one of the most spectacular vantage points on the entire coastline.
A unique feature of Chesil Cliff that sets it apart from other coastal properties is the extent of the grounds (totalling three acres), the foreshore, and the direct water access.
Meanwhile, over at The Eye you'll find adaptable secondary accommodation to the main house. All on one level, it boasts far-reaching sea views, a front terrace with a sunken hot tub, and a striking architectural design.
Swipe across for a full house tour:
Hamish Humfrey, Partner in Knight Frank’s Country Department, said: 'Chesil Cliff House is a genuine one off. Not only does the property boast high design and build quality, it also has a south-facing position and an ease of access to the water with a private beach and foreshore. Without doubt it is one of the very finest homes to come to market on the national coastal waterfront.'
View the full listing via Knight Frank.
What happened on Grand Designs?
The episode, which first aired in October 2019, is a memorable one. In fact, it's one of the most watched and talked about episodes of Grand Designs, described by viewers as both 'sad' and 'tragic'. (You can watch the episode on All 4 here).
In a nutshell, the episode followed Edward, his wife Hazel, and their two daughters Lauren and Nicole over eight years as he pursued his 'little boy's dream' of a white art deco-style lighthouse along the rugged clifftop.
The couple demolished their 1950s house to embark on the mammoth build and it's a project they hoped would take just 18 months to complete, but it soon spiralled out of control. It was a slow and complicated build – there were funding issues, and the couple even built a separate single-storey house called The Eye to borrow money against it. Kevin returned to visit the site in 2019, and by then, Edward was in £4 million debt, with an unfinished house and a collapsed marriage.
In welcome news for loyal viewers, we'll soon revisit the lighthouse project which first aired in 2019, after Kevin McCloud revealed to us that Grand Designs would be returning to Edward's property for a follow-up episode.
Why doesn't Edward live in the lighthouse if the build is now finished?
The episode ended with Edward adamant that he would finish the project. However, he has to sell the house in order to cover the substantial amount of money he borrowed to build it.
For the last few years, the half finished building had been an eyesore for locals, which even Edward agreed with. In an interview in October 2019, Edward said he hoped the lighthouse would be completed by September 2020. But of course, the build faced further delays as a result of the pandemic.
In April 2020, remedial works were in progress to repair damage caused by the weather. A few months later in June 2020, Devon Live reported that North Devon Council had issued an enforcement notice to remove the white panel fencing surrounding Chesil Cliff House. The removal didn't happen, as Edward said it was a health and safety matter.
In January this year, estate agents Knight Frank told House Beautiful UK that due to delays the property was likely to be completed in spring 2022. As completion neared, the date was pushed back again due to the tiling of the swimming pool, which was weather dependent.
"After the monster years I have been on it, this doesn't really feel like a delay," Edward told Devon Live back in April. He called the strenuous build a "marathon slog", adding: "I have got used to being a millionaire in debt. . . I've been doing this build for more than 10 years – so have gone past headaches now and built a lot of resilience."
Speaking about Edward's determination despite all the setbacks, Kevin previously told us: "When you stare defeat in the face, there is always hope, and that was the message that I've taken away from that project. There is always hope."
Chesil Cliff House: the architecture
Edward's original plan was a six-bedroom lighthouse with an 18-metre infinity pool, cinema, 9ft high windows, and a glazed observation room at the top of the tower with uninterrupted views to the sea beyond.
Due to the unique clifftop position of the property, the lighthouse has been anchored into the bed rock of the cliff, painstakingly engineered to a level that leaves no possibility for erosional hazard.
Professor Alan Phillips, Architect of Chesil Cliff House, comments: "Our commission provided a rare opportunity to design a contemporary coastal house in one of the most beautiful places in England. The architectural concept had to be bold and elegant. That was achieved through the use of contrasting geometries – rectangles and circles – culminating in a poolside four-storey glass topped rotunda, and a guest house cut out of the rock face with sea views framed by a single arch."
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